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What are the best cars for new drivers?

Ford Fiesta? SEAT Mii? Volkswagen Polo? Whether you’ve just passed your test or are still taking driving lessons, your mind will no doubt be turning to which make and model you’d like to get your hands on. Here we give you some tips to help you choose.

The cost of owning a car

It’s important not to rush in and buy the first car that catches your eye because you need to consider whether you can afford to run it.

The freedom of being a car owner does come at a cost. As well as the purchase price of the car, you’ll have insurance to pay, fuel costs, car tax, MOT and repair bills. It’s recommended that you get your car serviced regularly and invest in breakdown cover, too.

It can be beneficial to shop around for car insurance quotes as soon as possible; you don’t need to wait until you’ve bought a car. How much you’ll end up paying will depend on a number of factors. As a new driver, you will be considered a higher risk than a driver who has years of experience and a no claims discount. Your age can also affect how much you’ll be quoted, with younger drivers more likely to be involved in an accident and make a claim[1].

Best cars for new drivers

The car you choose should be economical, fill you with confidence and be uncomplicated to drive. Ideally, you’ll probably want to opt for a car with a small engine that’s from a low car insurance group[2]. It’ll both cut down on the running costs and ease you into the world of driving nicely.

Brand-new and nearly new cars are usually safer than older models, but your budget might determine the age of the car that you can buy. Every car is given a safety rating through the EURO NCAP[3] test, which can be useful when comparing models of the same age. However, due to the Euro NCAP criteria regularly changing, it isn’t easy to compare cars of different ages. A car given a 5-star rating five years ago might have only reached a 3 or 4-star rating if it was tested today. 

According to Auto Express[4], the best cars for new drivers are: 

  1. Skoda Citigo/VW up!/SEAT Mii
  2. Ford Fiesta
  3. Volkswagen Polo
  4. SEAT Ibiza
  5. Kia Picanto
  6. Hyundai i10
  7. Ford Ka+
  8. Dacia Sandero
  9. Suzuki Baleno
  10. Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108/Citroen C1

How can I reduce how much I pay for car insurance?

Your car insurance for your first year will likely be comparatively expensive, no matter which car you choose, but you should find your insurance premium drops once you’ve completed your first year and have started to build up a no claims discount[5].

It is a popular misconception that opting for third party car insurance is the cheapest option, as comprehensive cover can often work out cheaper.

Increasing your voluntary excess could also help reduce your premium[6], but you need to be confident that you’d be able to pay it if needed. If you did have an accident that was your fault, for instance, your insurer wouldn’t pay for any repairs to your vehicle until you had paid your excess. This could leave you in a difficult situation if you were to overstretch your budget.

Adding a named driver to your policy could also help drive down your premium price, especially if they’re an older and more experienced driver. However, it’s important that they do actually share the car with you; otherwise you could risk your insurance being invalidated should you make a claim in the future.[7]

You could consider having a black box[8] fitted to show your insurer that you’re a responsible, safe driver.

Ultimately, one of the best ways to reduce your insurance costs is by choosing the right car and shopping around for a car insurance quote.

Click here to get a quote for Rias car insurance >